Vitamix 6500 Blender : Convenience, Power and Practicality Exemplified
Vitamix Corporation has been in the business of manufacturing blenders for residential and commercial uses since 1937. With more than 80 years of experience, the Cleveland-based, family-owned corporation definitely knows its stuff! This is clearly evident in the solid construction, convenient operation and impressive power of Vitamix 6500, a fairly high-end blender (about $600).
While there are plenty of more affordable blenders, we recommend it because it straddles the line between a residential and a commercial-use blender. Its size falls within the residential-use category but its versatile functions and powerful motor make it just shy of being in the commercial-use category. In short, it’s a blender that users who love to make smoothies, juices and frozen desserts regularly will benefit from.
But the vitamix 6500 price may be somewhat of a turn-off for some budget-conscious users. If you’re one of them, you can think of it this way: The $600 cost can be spread over 10 years or so, which means you will get great value for your money.
Vitamix 6500 Base Unit and Motor Power
The Vitamix c series 6500 has a fairly powerful 1,470-watt motor that produces 2.2 horsepower during the blending process. This means it can create a strong blending vortex that transforms large solid food into a smooth consistency, whether as a smoothie or as a puree.
The base unit is relatively large with a squat appearance that makes it stable on a countertop or island. There are four “feet” that support the jar while also ensuring that the entire blender doesn’t skitter across the surface when it’s in operation. This isn’t a sleek and streamlined kitchen appliance but that’s okay since it is stable and sturdy.
The 64-ounce jar is made of BPA-free plastic, a common material used in most contemporary blenders. While it’s plastic, it doesn’t leach the odors from the previous smoothies made in it for as long as it’s cleaned after every use. It’s a thick plastic, too, so there’s little danger of cracking, denting or scratching it unless there’s an obvious intention to do so.
We like that the jar has a wide bottom since it means more space for more ingredients as well as a faster blending process. It even comes with a flat tamper for smoother blending, too. But since it has a more squat width, it can be more cumbersome to carry from, say, the countertop to the sink for cleaning.
The 4-inch cutting blades are made of laser-cut stainless steel, a sharp and sturdy material that will cut through nearly every soft and hard fruits, vegetables and seeds. These blades are designed to create a vortex that will pull the ingredients toward the center and, thus, ensure consistent blending.
Vitamix 6500 Control Panel and Speed
The old-fashioned control panel may not appeal to people used to digital controls on their kitchen appliances. But the flip-style switches for the start/stop function and pulse function are easy to use and easy to maintain – digital control panels can be tricky to repair. The on/off switch is at the bottom of the base unit.
The dial selector at the center of the control panel can be turned in either direction. It doesn’t require much pressure to turn the dial so be gentle with it.
Turn the dial to the right and choose from 10 speeds, with 1 being the slowest and 10 being the fastest. Turn the dial to the left and choose from three pre-programmed settings, namely, smoothies, frozen desserts and hot soups. The combination of variable speeds and pre-programmed setting allow for greater control over the consistency of the resulting mixture.
The Vitamix 6500 blender has a low-profile design that makes it easy to store in a standard kitchen cabinet. When the jar is placed on top of the base unit/motor, the entire appliance stands at slightly over 17 inches. Many other Vitamix blenders stand at 18 inches and over.
But it’s a squat blender so it can take up more space, sideways, with its 7.2 by 8.8 inches base dimensions. You may have to move a few things around in a kitchen cabinet to accommodate it.
In terms of weight, it’s slightly heavy at nearly 12 pounds. You will get a mild workout transferring it from the countertop to the sink and from the sink to the cabinet. But the jar itself isn’t too heavy – it’s the motor base that makes the blender heavy.
Functionality & Versatility
The stainless steel blades made short work of nearly every fruit and vegetables used in making smoothies. You will get a smooth consistency from your smoothies, whether fruits like peaches, apples and strawberries or vegetables like lettuce, carrots and beets are used. The trick is in choosing the right speed mode – the harder the ingredients, the longer and faster the speed should be – and in using the pulse function.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a juicer per se so don’t expect juices that a dedicated juicer can create. Blenders include the pulp from fruits and vegetables but juicers exclude it, a different manner of extracting nutrients resulting in different results. But this blender still creates juices with a similar consistency as juices made by juicers.
With is ice crushing function, a pre-set function, it can create a wide variety of frozen desserts including ice cream and sorbet. The sharp blades cut through the frozen fruits and ice cubes while the wide container gives more room for them. You can make frozen desserts for 2-3 persons in a single blending.
Baby food, sauces and dips are easy-peasy with the Vitamix 6500, again thanks to its sharp blades and powerful vortex. Fruits and vegetables become smoother with each cycle until these become pureed mixes. Plus, it’s a great tool for making nut butters from cashews, almonds and peanuts; add a little amount of water to make the blending process easier.
Soup/ hot ingredients:
The thick plastic jar can handle warm vegetables that have been pre-cooked before placing in the jar with the other ingredients. Most Vitamix blenders have powerful blades that produce friction and, thus, heat to create warm soups. The 6500 isn’t an exception.
The chopping efficiency of the Vitamix 6500 is akin to a sharp knife. You can make salsas and coleslaw with it so you can skip the laborious task of chopping a kilo or so of fruits and vegetables.
If it can cut through nuts and make butter out of them, then it can also ground coffee beans, oats and grains. The final results, however, will be different depending on the speed used.
While it doesn’t have a dough attachment, it’s actually quite useful in mixing dough for cookies and batter for pancakes, cakes and crepes.
The noise level is quite high and it can be an annoying distraction from enjoying the thought of smoothies coming your way in minutes. But since the noise means that the motor and blades are working their magic, you will probably tolerate it, not to mention that it lasts for a few minutes only.
Tip: If you want a slightly decreased noise level, you can place the blender on top of a rubber placemat.
Ease of Using, Cleaning
With fewer parts, this is an easy-to-use blender that even a beginner can operate after reading the instructions manual. The steps are straightforward – place the ingredients in the jar and cover it with the lid; place the jar on top of the base unit and ensure that it’s locked in place; turn on the on/off switch and choose the function or speed. Easy-peasy.
Again, the fewer parts means faster cleaning. Just add tap water three-fourths of the way of the jar and add dishwashing detergent. Place the jar on the base unit and turn it on. Wait for 30-60 seconds depending on the amount of detritus on the jar and turn it off. Pour the water-detergent mixture into the sink and let the jar air dry.
Tip: You may also want to disassemble the jar’s components and wash every part by hand.
Warranty and Customer Support
All Vitamix blenders have a 7-year warranty. The customer service is spot-on, from the prompt response of the customer service representatives to customer concerns to the timely delivery of replacements.
The Vitamix 6500 is somewhat of a high-end blender with its $600 price tag, a slight turnoff for people on a budget. There are blenders, after all, in the under $100 category that performs many of the same tasks and lasts for nearly as long.
But the Vitamix brand has endured for more than 80 years for good reasons! The Vitamix blenders are durable, versatile and functional, a must-have kitchen appliance in every home. Their expensive prices may initially put off buyers but in the long run, their cost are offset by the hundreds of uses over several years.
With proper use, the Vitamix 6500 should last for 7 years or more. The trick here is to read the instruction manual before using it and following the recommended manner of using, cleaning and storing it.